Monday, February 20, 2017

Central London County Court: District Judge Avent dismisses Declan's claim against the Mayor of London-commissioned St Mungo's that alleged the falsification and fabrication of data against us (WITH UPDATE 16/3/2017)

From the Update below:

"How you manage to do what you do is simply amazing!! And with the pressure on to adjudicate what seems more and more like attacks from a personality from 1984!"
-Don Collins, President of ISAF, an NGO dedicated to helping women

County Court at Central London, Royal Courts of Justice

This afternoon District Judge Avent ruled in Declan's claim for compensation against the Mayor of London-commissioned St Mungo's, a homeless charity, that data we alleged to be false, fabricated and nonsensical (and left us vulnerable to eviction for non-cooperation with the support provider) constituted no more than "a difference of opinion as to wording" and that no breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 had occurred. Although originally listed for a one-day hearing, the trial only lasted two hours, i.e. one hour short of the preliminary hearing last October. Declan says it was the most hostile atmosphere that he has ever experienced in a courtroom. It left him reeling, he says, after no more than five minutes. At the end of DJ Avent's summation, Declan asked for leave to appeal. "What for?" the Judge asked. "Because this is just a difference of opinion as to wording," Declan responded, quoting him verbatim. "No," the Judge replied, and that was that.

We are in a supported tenancy because of Declan's physical health condition (and the high levels of harassment and intimidation we routinely face). We were forced to sleep rough on the streets of London for almost 4 years in total - from 4 November 2006 to 13 July 2009, and again from 14 April 2013 to 17 May 2014. Before we came off the street the second time, Declan was diagnosed with asthma and a chest infection; in fact, he became so weak that on 15 April 2014 the Royal London Hospital wrote: "If possible should try to find accommodation off the street." So when in May 2014 a supported housing tenancy came through (under an internationally acclaimed programme called Housing First run on behalf of the Mayor of London for entrenched rough sleepers), we took it. Because the flat only came with a fridge and cooker, we first had to sink the deposit we had for an accommodation into making it habitable. And that was just the start of things to come....

Click to enlarge

A difference of opinion as to wording?

For example (by no means exhaustive), this is paragraph 23 of Declan's Witness Statement dated 14 November 2016:

"Still to this day, I do not know the service to which the staff action/intervention "Signposted to another service" referred. No mention was made of the action note in St Mungo's Defence, notwithstanding the extraordinary lengths I had gone before the defence was filed to highlight the seriousness of blatantly retaining data that was false, fabricated and without meaning (vague to the point of having almost any kind of interpretation)."

Under data protection law, the information organisations provide to people must be concise, transparent, intelligible, easily accessible (not to mention legitimate), and it must use clear and plain language, according to the Information Commissioner's Office.

UPDATE 16 March (10.08pm): Our 21 days to apply for permission to appeal expired four days ago on Monday. We only received DJ Avent's order above in a late post yesterday; and this despite the fact that the Information Commissioner's Office found the Ministry of Justice in breach of the Data Protection Act in respect of an application to contest the court's jurisdiction that we did not receive in a timely manner in a previous case (see my blog post yesterday, Complaint to the Secretary of State for Justice. We still do not have District Judge Avent's order and today is the 2nd day after the expiration of our statutory 21 days to apply for permission to appeal). Tonight Don Collins, President of the Washington DC-based International Services Assistance Fund, writes: "How you manage to do what you do is simply amazing!! And with the pressure on to adjudicate what seems more and more like attacks from a personality from 1984!" Two working days before Declan's hearing over three weeks ago, we were informed by Newham Council that they had suspended our Housing Benefit. It was reinstated the day after the hearing. According to the Council, they had been informed by the Department for Work and Pensions that we had vacated. We have had absolutely no dealings whatsoever with the DWP for over three years (see my blog post of 22 February, Now that Newham Council have de-suspended our Housing Benefit, what will it take to get the Council to acknowledge receipt of a change in our circumstances in the form of a pay rise?).


We were evicted from our previous flat on 14 March 2013 because according to our then live-in landlady's ex-husband, Dr Nigel McKenzie, a consultant psychiatrist in Highgate Mental Health Centre, our flat was needed for somebody with a mental illness. Former MI5 whistleblower David Shayler also lived with human rights activist Belinda McKenzie in the same political 'safe house' for a couple of years until 2007. According to BBC Panorama, Shayler "caused the biggest crisis of official secrecy since the spy catcher affair"; he was jailed for seven weeks in 2002 for breaking the Official Secrets Act. It is unfortunate that Shayler declared himself the Messiah in 2007, became a squatter, and was subsequently ridiculed in the press for changing his name to Delores Kane. A New Statesman article published in September 2006 featuring Shayler and Belinda gives no indication that Shayler believed he was the Messiah at that time; whilst a Daily Mail interview with him the following year reveals he believed himself to be Jesus by June 2007. He has never regained his normal self.

The Esquire article below* is mentioned in a Guardian article dated 27 March 2012. It is an eye-opener, highlighting the monitoring and surveillance that Shayler had to live with back in 2000, and the contradictory briefings and slanders that were coming out of the British establishment and the media. The author, Dr Eamonn O'Neill, is a lecturer in journalism at Strathclyde University.

*On 2 May 2013, Issuu removed this pdf from my Issuu account following a copyright complaint by Hearst Communications. I had uploaded the article to my Issuu account in December 2012. In March 2013, when last I checked, the article had been viewed more than 15,000 times. It can be read here.

BBC PANORAMA: The David Shayler Affair (August 1998)

Former MI5 whistleblower David Shayler "caused the biggest crisis of official secrecy since the spy catcher affair", according to BBC Panorama. He was jailed for seven weeks in 2002 for breaking the Official Secrets Act.